What Are Some of the Best Bed Step Stools and How to Choose One?

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Aging in place is a wonderful way to spend the senior years, and mobility devices can be a great aid to make it smoother. Age-related mobility issues are a big reason seniors struggle with even simple everyday tasks – getting in and out of bed is one of them. According to a statistic, most falls happen between 9 pm and 7 am, to be more precise during nighttime bathroom visits. This is why seniors need to be careful about how they get in and out of bed. A bed step stool is a perfect solution, allowing safe and easy passage in and out of bed. However, it's also paramount that you get the right step stool for the bed that suits your loved one's specific needs. 

In this guide, we'll discuss what exactly a bed step stool is, how it can help, how to prevent falls in the elderly and enable aging in place, as well as the pros and cons of having a bed step stool. 

WHAT IS A BED STEP STOOL, AND HOW TO USE ONE?

Simply put, a bedroom step stool is a stool that helps people get in and out of bed safely. Seniors, people with disabilities, and those who have just had surgery may find it challenging to perform the simple task of getting in and out of bed, especially if the bed is too high. A bed step stool gives you a boost while providing a non-slip surface to make things safer. This can prevent the risk of falls and injury by giving you extra support and traction. 

To safely get in and out of bed, place the bed step stool in the exact spot where your legs would land while getting out of bed. Keeping the step stool sturdy against the bed reduces the chances of it moving, reducing the possibility of any accidents or mishaps. Do not place the step stool for the bed on any surface that is not steady, and ensure that the device is fully unfolded if you are using the portable kind.  

HOW TO GET IN BED WITH A STEP STOOL?  

Using a step stool gives you a safe space to put your legs while trying to get in and out of bed, especially if the bed is too tall. To get in bed, simply step firmly onto the base of the stool. If the one you use has a handle, grip it firmly before stepping onto the stool for extra support. Once you have the extra height, you can comfortably sit on the edge of the bed and move back a little to ensure you are placed right. The last step is to get into the lying position for a good night's sleep.  

To get off, reverse the steps you took while getting on. First, get into a seated position and then move the lower half of your body off the bed. Get a firm foothold on the base of your step stool for bed and place yourself so that you can get up easily and then step down. If you are using a portable or foldable type of bed step stool, make sure you move it out of the way to avoid tripping.  

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BED STEP STOOLS? 

While they all serve the same purpose, not all types of bed step stools are the same. There are many options with different features to suit a specific need. These include: 

  • One piece step stools are a single solid piece and don't move or change shape. 
  • Foldable and collapsible stools that are portable and can be put away. 
  • Stools with handles for extra support. 

In addition to the different features, bedside step stools are made of different materials like metal, plastic, or wood. Making it essential that you pick the right type of bed stool based on your needs or those of a loved one.  

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BED STEP STOOLS FOR SENIORS?

As you would with any mobility device, you must consider all the pros and cons of having step stools for the elderly before you make the purchase. All things considered, you will find that the role a bed stool for seniors plays in helping you or your loved one age in place certainly outweighs the cons.  

You will find that bed stools for seniors make getting in and out of bed much safer; they help reduce the probabilities of falls while making the senior in question more independent. A bed step stool is very easy to use and comes in several affordable options. Even if you consider some of the pricier options, they will still be lower than the cost of fall-related treatments. The only major cons of having a bed step stool for the elderly is that they can sometimes be bulky and come in the way, or a senior may need assistance putting away a foldable option when it is not in use.  

TOP 3 BED STEP STOOLS TO CHOOSE FROM 

If you're looking for a specific step stool for bed, here's a list of some of the top ones available; 

The Step2bed: 

 

The step2bed is a multi-purpose safety step stool for seniors with various features. Its dual handrails work as bed rails for easier mobility while getting in and out of bed, while the non-slip safety step stool can be handy around the house. In addition, the motion-activated LED lights make it perfect for those nighttime visits to the bathroom. With a sturdy steel frame and extra-wide step stool, this is by far the most fall-proof bed stools for high beds we've come across. 

Features:  

  • The height-adjustable step offers a lift ranging from 2.5"-7.5" off the ground. 
  • The slip-resistant step stool is wide enough for seniors at 18" by 32”.  
  • Sturdy steel frame with a 400-pound capacity. 
  • Foam padded rails provide grip and comfort. 
  • Fully assembled bedside step stool is available. 

Pros:  

  • It reduces the risk of falls with its sturdy frame and non-slip step. 
  • Extra-wide step for added security. 
  • Motion-activated LED lights make this perfect for nighttime use. 
  • Height adjustable step, high weight capacity. 

Cons: Requires some assembly with 6 bolts to fasten. 

The Step2bed XL 

 

The step2bed XL is a variant of the step2bed built with heavy-duty steel but only weighing 22 lbs. It also comes with dual handrails and can hold up to 800 lbs. This step stool can also be used as a sturdy bed safety rail for seniors.  

Features: 

  • Can hold up to 800 lbs. 
  • The strong, perpendicular steel grab bars make it easy to climb in and out of bed.
  • A soft foam padding for a secure grip. 
  • Smart LED light automatically detects human movement within 10 feet and lights up. 
  • Height adjustability allows you to customize the height as much as 2.5” to 7.5”. 

Pros: 

  • Perfect for seniors looking for heavyweight holding capacity. 
  • Padded grab bars to provide extra support while getting in and out of bed. 
  • Height adjustable steps. 
  • Motion-activated LED lights.  
  • Wide steps make the movement easy. 

Con: Weighs a bit more than the regular step2bed. 

The Step2bed Mini

Specially designed to fit tighter spaces, step2bed mini is another variant of step2bed step stools. Weighing only 13 lbs., it is a small step stool for seniors looking for more portable and easier-to-move stools.  

Features: 

  • Holds up to 300 lbs. 
  • Made from high-quality steel. 
  • Two perpendicular handrails padded for an extra-secure grip.
  • Various step2bed accessories available. 
  • Adjustable height as much as 8’’ to 10’’. 

Pros: 

  • Highly portable. 
  • Prefect for small spaces. 
  • Durable and easy to install. 
  • The Velcro straps and anti-slip rubber feet reduce the chances of skidding or slipping.  
  • An adjustable step that shortens the distance from the bed to the floor. 

Cons: Can only hold up to 300 lbs. 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BEDSIDE STEP STOOL FOR YOU? 

With all the available options and their unique features, choosing the right bed step stool can get daunting. However, by keeping certain important factors in mind before making a purchase, you'll be able to find the best step stool to suit your loved one's needs. 

  • Size and Height of the Step Stool 

Those with limited mobility may prefer a bigger step stool with more features and a wider step to place both feet on at the same time. Simultaneously, you don't want to get a bedside step stool that exceeds your needs as it can become a hassle to use. A good start is to determine the extent of lift you need while choosing the height of the stool. 

  • Material 

Make sure your bed step stool is made of sturdy materials such as wood or metal. If it's plastic, it has to be slip-resistant and double-walled. A waterproof stool is also something to consider. 

  • Handrail Or No Handrail 

You can also opt for a step stool with a handle. Consider a well-welded handrail that's got a good grip and basal support for optimum safety. 

  • Collapsibility 

Whether you need a step stool that's foldable and easy to move around is another factor to consider if you want to use the stool in multiple rooms of the house. In that case, consider getting one that's made of sturdy plastic with a good weight holding capacity. 

  • Rubber Gripping 

When it comes to senior safety, this feature is a must. Rubber gripping on the stool and handrail provides much-needed traction. While rubbered glow-in-the-dark tips from step2bed prevent the entire stool from slipping, the illuminating grips make it easy to spot in the dark. 

  • Weight Holding Capacity  

There's no point getting a heavy step stool that's difficult to move around if you don't need a high-weight holding capacity. Many small step stools have weight holding capacities that will surprise you, making them the better choice as long as it is higher than the actual weight of the senior using them.  

  • Ability and Usage 

It's vital to consider whether your loved one can use a bed step stool. This factor depends on their mobility, balance, strength, and ability to climb stairs comfortably. 

  • Height of the Bed  

How high the bed is will determine the height of the step stool you purchase. An adjustable step stool is perhaps the best choice, although you could choose a single step or double step stool with low steps to make things more comfortable for your loved one. 

  • Style  

Of course, safety and function come before aesthetics, but for seniors, their bedroom is a haven for rest, and the right step stool shouldn't take away from that in terms of style and looks. Find an option that is both stylish and functional, and you have the perfect pair. 

  • Large Stepping Area 

The amount of space available for the senior to step on is paramount as it adds to the comfort and safety of the device. Having one foot hanging from the step could lead to the senior's loss of balance, which is a major cause of falls and fall-related injuries. Stools having larger stepping areas allows seniors to put both feet up simultaneously, making it that much easier for them to get on and off the bed without the fear of falling.  

  • Non-slip/Slip Resistance Surface 

Padded step stools for the bed are a great way of adding a little extra dose of stability to the device. A slip resistance base allows the bed step stool to stay in place even when the individual's whole weight is on the stool. A non-slip textured mat on the step surface can drastically reduce the risk of the senior losing their footing while on the stool.  

  •  Lightweight for Easy Portability 

If you are looking for a portable step stool for the elderly, it must be lightweight as the senior can easily move the stool around. A light step stool with a high weight holding capacity is ideal in such situations.  

SHOULD SENIORS USE A STEP STOOL?  

Whether or not a senior needs a step stool depends on their abilities and needs. If the individual is capable enough to get in and out of bed, the bathtub, get things from the top shelves, or move around without any mobility issues, they may not need a safety step stool for seniors. However, it is always safer to have a step stool handy to avoid major mishaps.  

On the other hand, if a senior is suffering from mobility-related issues such as arthritis, then a step stool is a must-have in the household. These stools help the seniors be more independent in a safe and reliable manner.  

WHERE SHOULD SENIORS USE A STEP STOOL?  

A step stool can come in handy in many different areas of the home. They are a safer way for seniors to age in place comfortably. Here are a few areas where step stools are the most helpful 

  • Bedroom 

As you already read, a bedside step stool is one of the most convenient devices to get in and out of bed. At the same time, a senior will be able to reach items in above head storage or shelves with the help of such step stools. They are a safer option as compared to ladders or standing on chairs.  

  • Bathroom 

A step stool can also make getting in and out of the bathtub easier and safer. With specialized options such as the step2tub, which features an extra-wide landing base and support bars with dual clamps that can attach to the tub to help maintain stability, a step stool is a convenient addition to the bathroom. 

  • Kitchen  

Getting items stored on the higher shelves of the kitchen cabinet can be a challenging task as individuals age. A step stool can give seniors the sturdy footing they need to carry out this task.  

  • Making Smaller Steps on Porches and Decks  

For any senior having mobility issues, even the simplest tasks such as climbing the high stair to the porch or deck can be monumental. A step stool can help add a level between two stairs, thus creating smaller steps and making it easier for the senior to reach the top.  

A bed step stool is a vital mobility device that enables seniors to age in place and be more independent in daily living. Choosing the right step stool for your loved one is paramount in ensuring this and gives seniors something reliable, safe, and easy to use.

Vince Baiera

Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

 

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